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Freight brokers call market bottom, look for spring tightening

Apr 24, 2019 at 08:43 AM CST

Take J.B. Hunt’s (NASDAQ: JBHT) brokerage, Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS), as an example. Hunt reported first quarter earnings on April 15. ICS posted volume growth of 15 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, but revenue per load dropped 11.5 percent to $1,041. In other words, ICS grew its volumes by cutting prices by double-digits. Still – and this is why market conditions were so favorable for brokerages this past quarter – ICS was able to widen its gross margins from 14.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018 to 16.5 percent in the first quarter of 2019.